Teen Court Competes in State’s Summit Mock Trial
Greene County Teen Court Members:
(front row L-R) Alejandra Garcia, Karen Meza, Christopher Antonio
(back) Taylor Williams, Allison Wade, Faith Hoskins, Ezequiel Cortes and coordinator, Lauren Pace
The Greene County Teen Court program prides itself on the ability to cultivate change in the community. Teen Court is designed as an alternative program for youth, ages 6-17, who have committed a first-time misdemeanor offense.
The program allows the offender a second chance to clean his/her record by taking responsibility for their actions and completing adequate sanctions such as community service, jury duty, life skills and conflict resolution class and many others.
Teen court is run by youth volunteers that are trained to be an attorney, clerk, bailiff or jury member.
Teen Court expanded its range for volunteers to include not only the high school and early college students but also the middle school students. These students are learning skills such as public speaking, decision making and leadership that they can take with them into their future endeavors.
The students are not only a role model in the courtroom once a month, but they are charged as role models at school on a daily basis.
In April, Greene County Teen Court had the privilege of attending the annual N.C. Teen Court Association Summit Mock Trial Competition held at Great Wolfe Lodge in Concord.
Teen Court Summit is an opportunity for Teen Court volunteers to show off their skills in the courtroom by competing against other Teen Court Programs throughout North Carolina, as well as engaging in workshops geared toward bringing change in their community.
“We were able to take a team of seven students to hold the positions of attorney, clerk, bailiff, and defendant. In hopes of helping these students reach their full potential, we held several practices that were interchangeably lead by Judge Beth Heath and local attorneys Annette Turik and Chris Rogerson,” said Lauren Pace, Teen Court Coordinator.
Those who competed in the mock trial included, Greene County Early College students Ezequiel Cortes, Alejandra Garcia and Karen Meza, and Greene Central students Allison Wade, Taylor Williams, Faith Hoskins and Christopher Antonio.
Cortes and Wade served as defense attorneys. Hoskins and Antonio were prosecution attorneys. Williams was the defendant, Garcia was the clerk and Meza was the bailiff. “All of the effort paid off for these students,” Pace said.
Cortes brought home an award for the Best Attorney in Courtroom B. Hoskins was name Best Attorney in Courtroom A. Williams garnered Best Defendant in Courtroom B.
“I cannot put into words how proud I am of the accomplishments of these students,” Pace said. “On behalf of the volunteers who attended Summit, we would like to extend a thank you to Greene County Schools for your financial support this year. Without your generous donation we would not have been able to attend this year’s Teen Court Summer Mock Trial Competition and Workshops. We would also like to thank Judge Beth Heath, Annette Turik and Chris Rogerson for volunteering your time to help us enhance our skills.”
Teen Court is accepting new volunteers. For more information, call Lauren Pace at 252-747-5831.